Michael Creasy's blog

Microsoft Windows Media Center, digital media and more...

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  • Blog Post: What's in a name?

    Quite a lot it seems. I own a few domain names. Most I've had for several years and they've always been with the same registrar. Three of them need to be renewed in a few days time and I thought I'd shop around for a better deal on renewing the registration. My current registrar ( Dotster.com ) wanted...
  • Blog Post: AOL Spam stats

    According to AOL's stats , they've blocked almost a billion bits of spam today. That's a lot of spam. I've probably received between 30 to 40 spam messages today, all of which were blocked from hitting my inbox thanks to spamcop.net with no false positives. I've routed all my personal mail through their...
  • Blog Post: Geek dinner

    i just got back from the geek dinner. I met Robert Scoble and a whole load of other people. Interesting variety of conversation from "Is Google building a browser?" to portable media centers. I met a few people that I need to talk some more with, but I'm too lazy to look up names and write links right...
  • Blog Post: Geek dinner in San Francisco

    Robert Scoble is going to be in San Francisco this weekend as well so we're having a geek dinner on Saturday (25th) at 7pm at Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers ( 4138 24th St. ). If you're in the area come and join us.
  • Blog Post: Han does NOT shoot first!

    My Star Wars DVDs have arrived a day early so I'm watching A New Hope right now. The picture quality is excellent, but the film is not the same as the Special Edition version... Greedo and Han now shoot at the same time! After Han shooting first and then Greedo, now they both shoot at the same time....
  • Blog Post: Visting San Francisco this weekend

    I decided last week to take a last minute trip to San Francisco this weekend thanks to a promotion from United Airlines which meant my ticket only cost me $5 :-) While I'm in the area I though it might be fun to meet some local Media Center users / developers/ MVPs. Saturday (25th) afternoon is the best...
  • Blog Post: Stardust probe crashes to Earth

    Oops. That's a shame, I hope they can still salvage something from the project. Don Brownlee came to Microsoft a couple of months ago and mentioned the project and described how the probe was supposed to get back - parachutes and then caught be helicopter, which apparently is fairly normal and not as...
  • Blog Post: iMovie removes Apple's FairPlay DRM from iTunes Music Store songs?

    It's not the first time that Apple's FairPlay DRM has been circumvented, but it appears that by importing a song into iMovie and then exporting it the DRM gets removed . There's no word on whether a loss of quality is involved. Quite how Apple will get around this is anyone's guess. They could make a...
  • Blog Post: Cheaper internet access

    I've been a Comcast customer for almost 18 months and I've generally been happy with the service. I know that DSL is cheaper, but as I don't have a land line it's not really an option. I've heard that many people have gotten deals from Comcast by calling them and saying they are thinking of getting DSL...
  • Blog Post: Back to school with Dell and Gateway?

    In another example of companies using the same stock photos for their websites, Dell and Gateway are both using the same girl to promote their back to school deals.
  • Blog Post: Looking for a thermometer to connect to a PC

    My officemate and I were talking about this this morning. We'd like to be able to use a PC to measure the temperature outside. Ideally this would be a serial connected device with a probe that could easily be placed outside. Google found us some, but there seem to be very complex and cost around $100...
  • Blog Post: Limitied DVD copying to be legal in the future?

    There's a story that's light on details from Reuters that suggests that limited DVD copying will be ok in the future. Microsoft, Disney, IBM, Intel, Matsushita and Time Warner have agreed in principle to make legal backup copies of next-generation video disks and play the content on portable devices...
  • Blog Post: No time to rip all your CD's?

    LoadPod will do it for you! (Assuming you have an iPod and at least 50 CDs and are willing to pay $1.50 a CD and live in an area they service - which now includes Seattle). I can certainly see the appeal, ripping a lot of CDs takes a long time. I've probably only got about half of my CD collection...
  • Blog Post: Cool computer

    Completely frozen solid! More photos here
  • Blog Post: Long time without a post

    Well I've been really busy and haven't had much time to write anything new. I've added a new category to my blog - books , which if I get right won't be included in my main feed or on the blogs.msdn.com page. I'm going to post updates on what I'm currently reading and little reviews there from time...
  • Blog Post: Meta-blogging

    This is me blogging about Bruce Sterling blogging about him being here at Microsoft today . I just got back from seeing him talk, mostly about how to secure his parties but also anything else on his mind. I got a copy of his latest book The Zenith Angle signed and read the prologue while waiting for...
  • Blog Post: Record set for most naked people on a rollercoaster

    British students have set a record for the most naked people on a roller coaster... Read the story @ BBC News .
  • Blog Post: Travelling with tech

    As I mentioned in my last post, I recently got back from a two week holiday in China (there's a long article coming on that once I have time to write it). I took a minimum of tech toys with me - a phone (Sony Ericsson T68i, but not the charger, which was a mistake), an iPod (and the charger) and assorted...
  • Blog Post: I'm back and Media Center is going to Australia, Austria, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland!

    I'm back from a couple of weeks holiday in China (actually I've been back for almost two weeks, but I've been really busy ;) ), which eventually I'll post an article about - including some photos taken with my Canon 10D and the Hitachi 4GB Microdrive - which worked out really well. Here's some good news...
  • Blog Post: Last post for a while

    This will be my last post for a few weeks as I'm taking some time off and won't have much in the way of internet access. While I'm away if there's a topic you'd like me to write about (i.e. how do I use API x?, can I make Media Center do y?), leave me a comment or shoot me a mail and I'll try and cover...
  • Blog Post: Apple's Fairplay DRM allegedly cracked

    /. is reporting that Apple's FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been cracked. This means that purchases from iTunes Music Store can be stipped of their DRM and copied freely it seems. Apparently it's doing it by removing the encryption and not hijacking the QuickTime audio stream that had been...
  • Blog Post: March 20th to the 21st was "Alice in Puzzlehunt weekend" in Washington State

    I mentioned the Puzzlehunt before and how some puzzles invovled calling Pizza Hut and another involved the New York Times, what I didn't know until now, was the Washington State House of Representatives declared the weekend to be "Alice in Puzzlehunt weekend" and urged "all citizens to join in the celebration...
  • Blog Post: Star Wars on DVD (at last)

    This is the DVD set I've been waiting for since I first started buying DVDs (which was about six years ago, when the number of released DVDs in the UK was about 20). I'm sure there will be another boxed set in the future with all six films, but I can't wait that long and besides episode I and II weren...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Speech Server launch

    John has a couple of posts on the Microsoft Speech Server launch. That's the team I worked on for almost three years before joining the Windows Media Center team. It's pretty exciting to see it finally get launched :-)
  • Blog Post: Puzzle Hunt (or how to spend a weekend at work without working)

    I spent almost every minute I was awake this weekend on the Microsoft campus; other than closing some bugs Saturday morning I didn't do any work at all. I spent the rest of the weekend taking part in Puzzle Hunt 7 (Alice in Puzzlehunt). The Puzzle Hunt is an annual event at Microsoft, it's a team event...
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